Videos / Films
A Strange New Beauty
2017, 50:40 min
A disturbing intrusion into the luxurious homes of Silicon Valley. Using an aggressive soundtrack and a full frame often fractured into small rectangles covered by text, Silver reveals a deafening violence behind the glittering beauty and deceptively calm of this suburban landscape. There is no human presence, but the homes seem to contain a memory of disturbing events, to bear the traces of a savagery just offscreen. Charlotte Selb
2015, 4:14 min
The Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven né Plotz, was an unsung member of the Dada Movement. A poet, artist, runaway, and all around public provocateur; she actively did not fit into her historical moment, and like most misfits, suffered for it. The Lamps details her trip to the Naples Archeological Museum in the early 1900’s where she breaks into 'Il Gabinetto Segretto,' a secret room filled with erotic objects from Pompeii.
2013, 68 min
A man returns, after fifty years, to Chinatown to care for his dying mother. He is a librarian, a re-cataloguer, a gay man, a watcher, an impersonator. He passes his time collecting images that he puts before us, his witnesses and collaborators. Sitting in the dark, we share his cloak of invisibility, both a benefit and a curse.
5 lessons & 9 questions about Chinatown
2009, 10 min
10 square blocks, past, present, future, time, light, movement, immigration, exclusion, gentrification, racism, history, China, America, 3 languages, 13 voices, 152 years, 17,820 frames, 9 minutes, 54 seconds, 9 questions, 5 lessons, Chinatown....
in complete world
2008, 53 min
in complete world is a feature-length documentary made up of street interviews done throughout NYC. Mixing political questions with more existential ones, the film centers on the tension between individual and collective responsibility...
What I'm Looking For
2004, 15 min
A woman sets out to photograph moments of intimacy. On an Internet dating site she writes: 'I'm looking for people who would like to be photographed in public revealing something of themselves...'
2003, 70 min
suicide is a feature-length fiction of a woman's voyage through the malls, airports and train stations of Asia, Europe and Central America, chronicling her fiercely hopeful and desperate search for a reason to continue living.
2001, 3:12 min
A group of cops laugh and talk, while scanning the street for suspicious activity. An extreme close-up of a sensuously exposed neck; a soft pink fleshy ear turns to reveal an inquisitive hostile eye....
small lies, Big Truth
1999, 18:48 min
In turn funny, disturbing and glisteningly sensual, small lies, Big Truth is a video about love, relationships and the joys and banality of sex in the late 20th century.
37 Stories About Leaving Home
1996, 52 min
In this award winning documentary, Shelly Silver presents an intimate portrait of a group of Japanese women ranging in age from 15 to 82, talking about their lives, families and society.
Former East/Former West
1994, 62 min
Shot in Berlin in 1992-93 after reunification, Former East/Former West is an essay about national identity in post-Cold War Germany...
1994, Variable lengths
Fragments is a series of short videotapes ranging in length from 6 seconds to two minutes. These tapes can be seen as small drawings or sketches, bringing together pieces of ideas, overheard conversation and glimpsed images.
1994, 10 min
In April 2nd, Silver follows a series of men around the Marais district of Paris. From a suspicious policeman to a well dressed man who quickly disappears into a department store, the tape begins with a series of short and apparently failed relationships.
The Houses That Are Left
1991, 52 min
The Houses That Are Left is a story of mortality, friendship, revenge, murder and the supernatural, as two friends come together to try to figure out how to live, while being besieged by malignant messages from the dead...
1990, 4 min
"Even as the text instructs us otherwise, it is impossible not to read We's two images - that is, to respond to their symbolic quality, their suggestiveness..."
1989, 3 min
Starting with the deceptively soothing pastel hues of a sunny afternoon in San Francisco, getting in stages a collision between two rarely questioned phenomenon, heterosexual sex and real estate.
Things I Forget to Tell Myself
1989, 2 min
"In Shelly Silver's Things I Forget To Tell Myself, a fragmented textual statement is interspersed with imagery culled from NYC, much of it cropped by the camera operator's outstretched hand..."
Meet the People
1986, 16:32 min
Blurring the line between documentary and fiction, truth and artifice, Meet the People presents fourteen 'characters' who face the camera in 'talking head' close-ups and speak about their lives and dreams...